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On this week’s NYWIFT Talks, we speak with stuntwomen in film/television to discuss their work and how the pandemic has changed their career, and what new protocols have been set to keep everyone safe.
This conversation includes Dakota Bown, Wendy Gutierrez, Kelly Roisin, Heidi Schnappauf, Rose Sias, and Eileen Weisinger. Moderated by NYWIFT Program Manager, Barbara Vásconez.
Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Time: 4PM ET
Dakota Bown is a veteran New York Stuntwomen with 25+ years in the business. She has doubled actresses like: Lena Dunham in Girls, Rebel Wilson in the feature Isn’t It Romantic, Annie Golden in Orange Is The New Black, Drew Barrymore in the feature Riding In Cars With Boys and Ann Margret in Third Watch, to name just a few. One of her favorite stunts to date was doubling Aidy Bryant recently in a double high fall on SNL. Dakota’s husband is a professional jazz drummer and she has two unicorn daughters who are also in the entertainment business.
A southern belle with a military upbringing, that has lived all over the southern United States. Kelly Roisin comes from a blended cultural background. Having family all over Europe, the Caribbean and the United States. Kelly comes from a musical family and is no stranger to the stage or performing. Having performed for classmates and audiences since she was knee high to a grasshopper. Singing in musicals, school performances and Disney World. Known for doubling plus sized actresses and her ability to take a beating and pop back up. Kelly has enjoyed a varied stunt career on several large productions. Bringing her sarcastic humor and at times, her much talked about home baked goodies, with her to set.
Rose Sias has done stunt acting jobs all over the country, doubling people like Tyra Banks, Queen Latifah, Venus and Serena Williams and Lena Waithe. In college, Rose was an all American athlete, swimming and playing basketball and racquetball semi-professionally. Her base was NY since 1994 and now she is an Atlanta Stunt local. She has been hired mainly for riot scenes, to be a cop, a criminal, or a homeless person. She drowns, gets shot at (love squib hits), gets beat up, arrested, or she shoots (being tactically trained and great with guns and automatic weapons). Lately Rose has been booking roles with lines, as Swat team leader, and cop roles. Rose Loves to hit the ground and loves driving stunts; and “I love to work with a great team.” The Crew matters!!
Eileen Weisinger’s first day of Union stunt work, on Paul Verhoeven’s film Basic Instinct, started with a midnight call to report to set immediately and ended up on the cutting room floor with her Taft-Hartly. Thankfully Luis Valdez lifted her up on wires, adorned with 6 foot wings and a sword in her hand to battle it out as Linda Ronstadt double in his twist on the traditional Spanish Christmas pageant La Pastorella. The next 30 years brought her all the joys, challenges and many dings of a professional stunt woman. She’s now branching out into the much needed new field of Intimacy Coordinating …. continually dedicated to mitigating risks in the Industry of creative storytelling.
Barbara Vásconez (moderator) is the Program Manager at New York Women in Film & Television. Before joining NYWIFT, she held the position of General Manager at the Quad Cinema for three years. She has worked for a variety of film festivals, including the Tribeca Film Festival, Rooftop Films, Hamptons Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival, DOC NYC, and the Nantucket Film Festival. Her spare time is spent programming panels and creating unique community engagement opportunities for the New York Latino Film Festival. In 2019, she launched and founded the Ville Film Festival in Somerville, New Jersey. In 2020, she joined the Ecuadorian Film Festival as Co-Director. Her educational goals include working to develop film programs in New Jersey that improve film education for low income students. She works on amplifying the Latinx community and speaking on important issues like immigration and minimum wage. She is committed to the importance of film as a means of community engagement. Barbara has a degree in Film and Video Production from the School of Visual arts in NYC and holds a Business certificate from W.O.R.C in Philadelphia.
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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.